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Web Video / LegalEagle

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Like an Eagle, he has an eye for lawful inaccuracies.
LegalEagle is a web show where a real-life lawyer (Devin James "DJ" Stone) nitpicks the lawful inaccuracies of any sort of media, whether it be a TV show or movie. He also does videos about the legal intricacies of some news and media events, and animations about real trials that took place in the past. His older videos give advice to people who want to go to law school.

The official website for LegalEagle's media productions is here and its website for its law school prep service is here.

LegalEagle provides examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • During his review of the pilot of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, he was amused by Birdman's 'power of attorney' pose and did it twice himself with much enthusiasm.
    • He is similarly very fond of "the best worst lawyer ever" Lionel Hutz, from The Simpsons, going so far as to claim Hutz's "No, money down!" bit is the funniest lawyer joke he's ever seen. He also claims Hutz is extremely popular among lawyers in general.
    • Every "Lawyer Jokes" or "Lawyer Memes" video has him laughing at pretty much all of them and agreeing.
  • Artistic License Military:
    • While dissecting Star Trek: The Next Generation's "The Measure of a Man," he makes several complaints about the clothes the cast is wearing. As numerous commenters pointed out, that's Starfleet's uniform: it's no different than the characters in A Few Good Men turning up for court in their dress uniforms.
    • Defied when discussing military law movies. While most of DJ's videos dissecting the law in movies focus entirely on the civilian law, he took the opportunity to bring in his friend Spencer, a veteran Marine and JAG officer, to discuss the military laws in play in Top Gun and A Few Good Men, all to maintain accuracy.
  • Ascended Extra: Devin's friend Spencer was originally brought in to discuss Top Gun and A Few Good Men, but he proved so popular that he became a recurring guest on the show, especially in the videos that discuss real-world news.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • For the legal realism of Bee Movie, he gave it a B...before switching it to an F.
    • For the legal realism of Tiger King, he initially gives it an F due to how unrealistic it is... before remembering it is a documentary, at which point he gives up.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Characters in fictional court scenes entering the well without permission from the judge. If you ask DJ, he'd say that the bailiff should tackle them. The only one who gets a pass is Saul Goodman, who he notes appears to have a prior relationship with the judge in his particular case and could have potentially gotten permission to do it.
    • Characters acting like they're in a trial even when they're not, especially if they use the wrong terminology. In the Grey's Anatomy episode, a plaintiff's lawyer telling the judge "the prosecution rests" in a civil case (not a criminal case) makes him gasp in genuine shock, saying it's like getting your name wrong.
  • Bookshelf of Authority: Devin deconstructs popular media from a legal standpoint. Almost every episode starts with the attorney host talking in front of a shelf of what look like law books.
  • Broke the Rating Scale: The dishonorable mentions count for Raiders of the Lost Ark shoots up from 34 to 8 billion when Devin goes over the opening of the Ark of the Covenant scene, which Devin considers an act of genocide against the entire human race.
  • The Cameo: Not so much in his own videos, but chances are if someone else making a video needs an actual lawyer to provide legal exposition (or even just for a joke involving a lawyer), Devin's the guy who shows up.
  • Captain Obvious: Played for Laughs in his video reacting to She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. When he questions why Titania isn't in jail for attacking a jury, a graphic appears saying "Did You Know? Attempted murder is against the law."
  • Catchphrase:
    • "It's time to think like a lawyer." - said at the beginning of every video after the greeting. Occasionally, "lawyer" will be replaced by whatever's topical.
    • Whenever a character in a fictional court scene walks where they shouldn't, he warns you that if you try that in real life, "the bailiff will tackle you."
  • Cops Need the Vigilante: On his interview on someone hitting package thieves with glitter bombs, interviewee Mark Rober says that cops love him because, since he's a private citizen and the cops aren't asking him to do anything, he's not bound by the rules they have to obey.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: The only positive he can come up with for his look at a Dhar Mann video "Prosecutor Sends Innocent Black Man to Jail" is that it uses very basic legal terminology like "defendant" and "district attorney."
  • Dissonant Serenity: His video on Leopold and Loeb points out that after they murdered a 14-year-old boy, they grabbed a bite to eat and even ate in the car while the corpse was still in the backseat.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Discussed in the The Simpsons episode. Lionel Hutz asking the Itchy and Scratchy owners for a copy of Manhattan Mouse — the basis of his argument — sounds like him idiotically expecting help from his opponents, but has legal basis: if the latter do have a copy of the 1919 film, they are legally obligated to provide that evidence under the rules of civil discovery.
    LegalEagle: So, Lionel Hutz. He's a terrible lawyer, but y'know, even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.
  • Epic Fail: In one of his True Crime episodes, Devin covers the story of Leopold and Loeb, a pair of genius sociopaths who murdered a teenage boy in an attempt to commit the "perfect crime". After planning the murder for seven months, they proceeded to commit such textbook mistakes as leaving their unique eyeglasses by the body, chucking the weapon out the car window in front of a witness, cleaning the evidence at one of their houses with no cover story, having no solid alibi beyond phone calls, blatantly attempting to frame a classmate when the police came knocking, and even pulling a Sarcastic Confession to the detectives. After seven months of planning the crime, they were arrested within two weeks.
  • Evil Lawyer Joke: Practically once an episode. If there isn't one in the source material, he'll make one himself.
  • Exact Words: A recurring trope, since so much of real-world law really does depend on the exact wording of a law, court decision, contract, etc. For example, in his video on the 2023 controversy over Wizards of the Coast's decision to retire the original version of the d20 System's Open Game License, he notes that the original OGL does not in fact say the license is "irrevocable", but rather "perpetual"—meaning that it doesn't expire, but it can be revoked by the licensor (i.e. Wizards).
  • Felony Murder: Discussed and explained in his video on Jurassic Park, in which he explains how Dennis Nedry can be held criminally liable for the deaths of Donald Gennaro, Ray Arnold, and Robert Muldoon, because his disabling the power to commit Grand Larceny resulted in animal-related fatalities, even though Nedry did not plan on killing anyone.
  • Frivolous Lawsuit:
    • When watching the episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on SLAPP suits, DJ praises Oliver's show for getting it mostly right, while providing some additional clarification about court procedures if a lawsuit is deemed frivolous or only filed for the sake of hurting someone.
    • One video discusses "The Most Frivolous Lawsuits Ever," including a man who wanted to legally chop 20 years off his date of birth, and another where a plaintiff sued himself for twenty million dollars with the intention of collecting the money from the state when he "lost" the suit.
    • Inverted in another video where he discusses "Lawsuits That Actually Weren't Ridiculous" — lawsuits that are often framed or thought of as "frivolous" (it doesn't help matters that the media selectively presented just the parts that made the plaintiff look bad), but actually had a more solid legal basis than most people realize, including the famous "McDonald's hot coffee case".
    • Defied with "The Shotgun Booby Trap (The Case Of)". The case seems pretty frivolous at first: it's a burglar suing the people he robbed. But it comes to light that Edward Briney, one of the homeowners, had mounted a 20-gauge spring-loaded shotgun (aimed downward so as to shoot an intruder's legs, rather than cause a mortal injury) in the farmhouse and rigged it to fire when the north bedroom door was opened — and all of this was done in an unoccupied house, so there wasn't even a potential justification of the homeowners being in danger as they lived elsewhere. A month later, on July 16, 1967, Marvin Katko entered the farmhouse with the intent of robbing the place. When Katko tripped the trigger mechanism, the shotgun fired into his legs at point-blank range. The gunshot wounds required hospitalization, and Katko sued the Brineys after his release from the hospital for his injuries. The case went all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court, who ruled in Katko's favor. The court said that while the Brineys would have had the right to defend themselves had they been there, using a shotgun booby trap to maim or kill an intruder was unreasonable force (especially when said intruder already served his sentence for the crime and even been released early for good behavior), and they had to pay for Katko's injuries.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: The Case Of episodes discuss this trope extensively with American law. The cases are about situations where Both Sides Have a Point or the legality of a situation is hazy.
    • "What's Inside The Box?" — Who's responsible when an accident occurs? How much responsibility do we owe each other? When Helen Palsgraf suffered an injury that caused her to lose both of her jobs, it was because a train station employee pushed a man carrying a box onto the train. The box contained fireworks, which the man dropped, which were ignited by the train's undercarriage, causing chaos that led to Mrs. Palsgraf's injury. Is the train company responsible for this injury?
    • "The Police Blew Up The House!" — Can police be held liable for damage to private property caused during the apprehension of an armed criminal? The police caused catastrophic damage to the house of an innocent family which faced significant hardship as a result. At the same time, the damage was the result of the police trying to apprehend an armed criminal who was a threat to the lives of everyone involved, including the family.
    • "Leopold & Loeb's Perfect Murder Gone Wrong" — Is it right to sentence people to the death penalty for murder? When two Harvard students kidnap, torture, and kill a fourteen-year-old boy, everyone agrees that they need to be removed from society. But should that removal include their own deaths?
    • "The Shotgun Booby Trap" — How much force is excessive when used to defend your home? A homeowner rigs a shotgun booby trap to fire at a robber who intended to steal from him, then is sued by the robber for excessive force. It's certainly within one's right to defend their home, but does that include rigging a booby trap?
  • Hollywood Law: It's the entire theme of his channel. His X Gets Lawyered videos go into detail about what movies and TV shows get right and wrong about laws and legal procedures.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • In the Idiocracy analysis, DJ points out how ridiculous the notion of lawyers having corporate sponsors would be... only to immediately remind the audience that he himself is being sponsored at that moment.
    • The video on the Open Game License controversy ends with DJ making a snarky comment about how nerdy a topic that was, before commenting that he's going to go play Magic: The Gathering for a while.note 
  • Jackass Genie: One of the memes he reviewed is a comic from eat the rich comic, in which the Genie grants a person's first wish for a world without lawyers, but then immediately denies him more wishes despite originally promising three wishes, and challenges him to sue him.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales:invoked Two of his favorite fictional lawyers are Lionel Hutz and Saul Goodman, even though both are designed to lampoon the profession. In both cases, it's because the specific ways the characters are presented show how the writers did their homework; in Hutz's case, the writers clearly know just how illegal some of his acts are (and they're just that funny), and in Saul's case, even though he's a blatant criminal, his actual legal advice is solid. He also adds that other lawyers feel the same way, often quoting famous lines from Lionel Hutz as a joke.
  • No True Scotsman: DJ humorously insists that transactional attorneys aren't real lawyers (on the grounds that they serve businesses in an advisory capacity rather than being litigators).
  • Not So Above It All: Devin's friend Spencer, as a former Marine, is generally a serious person in the videos he's featured in, but when Devin asks why adultery is a crime for service members when it's not for civilians, his first response is that there's a lot of "moralistic prigs" in the military.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Not really a name, but he calls his dog Stella the LegalBeagle, even though she's clearly not a beagle.
  • Omnidisciplinary Lawyer: Devin is not one; he's a civil law attorney (with some experience/knowledge of criminal law). To that point, when reviewing the realism of Top Gun and A Few Good Men, Devin brought in a former JAG named Spencer who was more of an expert in military law for the sake of more accuracy.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Despite his attempt to keep things at least somewhat neutral, Devin still isn't afraid to let his feelings known if the subject matter is serious enough.
    • Devin's immediate response to the January 6th riots. In contrast to his usual light-hearted demeanor, he is dead serious in a way that shows his genuine outrage and disgust both at the riot and Donald Trump's response and how he encouraged such behavior.
    • Also apparent in his reaction to the June 2020 incident at Lafayette Square, in which Devin is visibly struggling to hold back tears throughout the video.
    • His various videos on Alex Jones's legal issues make it clear he does not like the man, largely due to Jones' denial of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting; whenever Devin is discussing Jones' and his followers' targeted harassment of teachers, emergency workers and even parents who lost children that day, expect detailed examples of the affected people suffering filled with Tranquil Fury undertones. His video on Jones declaring bankruptcy in early 2023 starts with an insult, while the following description of Jones's financial situation is overlaid with a transparent clip of Mr. Krabs playing the World's Smallest Violin.
      Devin: Alex Jones is now two kinds of bankrupt, morally and personally.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Played for Laughs in How to Sue God, about times when people tried to sue God or Satan in court. The lawsuit against Satan was dismissed because Satan was technically a foreign prince and therefore it was a jurisdictional problem, while the suit against God was deemed legitimate on a jurisdiction level since God is omnipresent and therefore a citizen of the county, but was thrown out because they failed to serve God with the complaint. (Notably, the lawsuit was brought by an agnostic as a form of protest against recent court rulings on lawsuits).
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: He notes that The Trial of the Chicago 7 would normally get a lower score for realism for all the Courtroom Antics going on if not for the fact that most of the courtroom proceedings in the movie actually happened, and if anything there were even more antics on the court record that the film didn't portray.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Discussed in "Leopold & Loeb's Perfect Murder Gone Wrong." The attorney for the defendants, Leopold and Loeb, was one Clarence Darrow, of the Scopes Monkey Trial fame. Leopold and Loeb had kidnapped, tortured, and killed a fourteen-year-old boy and were caught red-handed. Darrow took the case because he was staunchly anti-death-penalty, and wanted to argue against the state of Illinois killing the two men. In one of the most audacious legal moves ever pulled, he had his clients plead guilty and then requested a full hearing on sentencing; over the next 32 days, Darrow essentially argued that his clients were terrible people who committed an absolutely horrible crime, they should be permanently removed from society, and rehabilitation would not work for them... but they shouldn't be killed for it. Surprisingly, it worked — Leopold and Loeb instead received life sentences plus 99 years, and were spared the gallows.note 
  • Rhyme Theme Naming: LegalEagle and his companion, the LegalBeagle (who is not actually a beagle)).
  • Rule of Drama: Occasionally, DJ will admit that a scene is both completely inaccurate yet also effective and exhilarating. A specific example is the climax of A Few Good Men, which he admits wouldn't have been as compelling if it were handled realistically.
    DJ: It may not be realistic, but this movie rules.
  • Serious Business: Oxford Commas for DJ, if the Unprofessional Memes review is anything to go by.
    For some reason, some of those partners out there don't use Oxford Commas, they're wrong, they should be ostracized, but, look, sometimes they're the boss...
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Lawyers abide by a pretty strict dress code, so it's no surprise Devin never presents a video without a suit and tie and has discussed the importance of being properly dressed in court on occasion. His videos are sometimes sponsored by clothiers, even.
  • Shown Their Work: Devin always gives a lot of praise to works that get the details of a legal case right. Additionally, he also praises works where lawyers are intended as incompetent, which he sees as reflecting the same effort by screenwriters to be accurate, just in the other direction. He particularly praises My Cousin Vinny for both aspects of this and providing good examples of a real-life trial and the behavior required, even if a lot of what Vinny does qualifies in a "what not to do" way.
  • Signing Off Catchphrase: At the end of every video: "And I'll see you in court."
  • Squee: While it was a nightmare to research and analyze, DJ has nothing but love and praise for the Better Call Saul episode "Chicanery" for its signature battery scene; even as he goes in depths as to the legal issues at work and complains about how much research it took, he's constantly praising the episode for its completely unique situation.
  • Stunned Silence: While reviewing It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's episode "Hero or Hate Crime," DJ is left in this after the fast-forwarded footage of them discussing N-Word Privileges.
    ... Okay, let's um... Let's just move on.
  • Stupid Evil: Pointed out for the villain of a Dhar Mann video, specifically a corrupt prosecuting attorney who seeks to send an innocent man to jail by suppressing evidence that would acquit him, because he thinks it'll ensure a promotion. Not only is that a career-ending Brady Violation that would be ridiculously easy to expose (which ends up happening), the supposed reward for this massive and unprovoked risk is also nonexistent. He's getting some no-name sent to state prison for Assault With A Deadly Weapon, one of the most routine charges imaginable and not something his superiors are likely to take notice of at all, much less think is so impressive that they'd have to fast track him to DA.
  • Television Is Trying to Kill Us: Defied. DJ goes over scenes in fiction, pointing out how such things would never happen because it would be a fast track to a lawyer getting disbarred and/or somebody going to jail.
  • True Crime: A side project on the channel is several true crime episodes, complete with stylized narration and even several voice-acted parts by people other than Devin. In a unique twist, while the crimes in question are dwelled upon, it focuses more on noteworthy trials than on the crimes themselves, tackling complex legal questions like "is it legal to set a deadly trap for a robber?" or "who's at fault if the police destroy a house with intent to catch the deadly criminal inside?" before revealing the actual outcome.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: In-Universe. Devin finds it rather bizarre that Raiders of the Lost Ark is considered wholesome family entertainment given all the violence and murder on display (as well a case of a statutory rape, as he argues).
  • YouTuber Apology Parody: "I'm sorry." has Devin giving a big sigh and "apologizing" that his reactions in a recent reaction video not being made in real time, promoting the video by warning viewers not to watch the hilarious observations or explanations of legal issues, and at the end breaking the serious façade by chuckling.

"And I'll see you in court."


Video Example(s):


Stone dissects Liar Liar

As stated by an actual lawyer, just because Samantha was a minor when she signed the prenup doesn't automatically render the contract void. It makes it voidable, which means that she would have the option of voiding it upon reaching the age of majority. And while it could be claimed that she's expressing that wish now, the fact that she's lived as Richard's wife and enjoyed the benefits of marriage could be used to argue that her actions have been affirming the prenup for 13 years. The truth is, the case would continue for a while and would most likely be decided in the husband's favor.

How well does it match the trope?

4.62 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / ArtisticLicenseLaw

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